Monday, August 27, 2012


Kat of The Bobwhites was our August 2012 Daring Baker hostess who inspired us to have fun in creating pate a choux shapes, filled with crème patisserie or Chantilly cream. We were encouraged to create swans or any shape we wanted and to go crazy with filling flavors allowing our creativity to go wild!

Filled Pate A Choux Swans


Vanilla Pastry Cream-
1 Tbsp unflavored gelatin

½ Cup sugar
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
4 Large egg yolks, well beaten
1 Cup milk
1 Tsp vanilla extract
1 Cup heavy whipping cream

Pate A Choux-
½ Cup (1 stick) butter

1 Cup water
¼ Tsp salt
1 Cup all-purpose flour
4 Large eggs


Vanilla Pastry Cream-
In a medium saucepan combine gelatin, flour, and sugar. Stir to combine.  Add the milk and egg yolks and turn heat to medium-low.  Stir constantly until mixture has thickened, it should cover the back of your spatula or spoon, about 10 minutes.  Once the mixture has thickened, immediately remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl.  Add the vanilla, and mix well.  Using plastic wrap, cover the surface to prevent a skin from forming.

Place cream in the refrigerator and chill for about 45 minutes. The mixture shouldn't set, it should continue thickening. *The chilling time would be the ideal time to start the Pate A Choux.

In a large bowl, beat cream until light peaks form. Carefully fold the vanilla mixture into the whipped cream until the mixture is well-blended and fairly smooth.

Refrigerate if not immediately using.

Pate A Choux-

Line at least two baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper, or grease pans well. Preheat oven to moderately hot 375°F.

In a small saucepan combine butter, water, and salt. Heat over low-medium until butter is melted and remove from heat.  Add flour, all at once, and beat.  Continue beating the mixture until the dough pulls away from the sides of the pan.  Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until well combined.  The mixture should be slightly glossy, very smooth, and somewhat thick.

Using a ¼” (6 mm) tip on a pastry bag, pipe out about 36 swan heads. You’re aiming for something between the number 2 and a question mark, with a little beak.  Remove the tip from the bag and pipe out 36 swan bodies. These will be about 1.5” (40 mm) long, and about 1” (25 mm) wide.  One end should be a bit narrower than the other. 

Place the pastries in the oven and bake until golden and puffy, about 10-15 minutes.  The heads will be done a few minutes before the bodies, so keep a close eye on the baking process.  Remove the pastries to a cooling rack, and let cool completely before filling. 

To assemble-

Take a swan body and use a very sharp knife to cut off the top 1/3rd to ½.   Cut the removed top down the center to make two wings.  Place a bit of filling into the body, insert head, and then add wings.

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